For all my female friends facing the trauma of buying a swimsuit. A repost ...


Spring may finally be spring-ing.

You know what that means?

Swim suit season is just around the corner.

The catalogs arrive and women shudder.  Men, I have to believe, don't give it a second thought.

Have you ever heard a man say, "I am trying to get in shape for swim suit season?"

I highly doubt it.

Renee Engeln, in her book Beauty Sick cites a study out of Duke University. She writes:

"Men and women were asked to try on a bathing suit and stand in front of the mirror. They were alone - no one was there to see what they looked like.

Whereas men said they felt 'silly' in the bathing suit, women's emotional experiences were much more intense.

Wearing a bathing suit in front of a mirror left the women feeling disgusted and angry, even revolted.

How can you have respect for yourself as a human being if you're disgusted by such an important part of your humanity?

How you feel about your body's appearance is inextricably linked to how you feel about yourself, and this link between self-esteem and body esteem is stronger in women than men."

Do ya' think?

Might this be why the spring Land's End catalog that just arrived at my home contains EIGHT PAGES of swim suits for women, and ONE HALF PAGE of swim trunks for men?

The men's trunks contain no real description other than the phrases "comfortable" and "quick-drying fabric."  Also, "water-draining inseam pockets," which would, of course, be important if you wore pockets into a pool!

On the other end of the widest spectrum known to humankind, the women's suits contain these kinds of descriptive phrases:

Slimming, Stunning, Tummy Control, Slender, Skirted, Grecian (!!), All-over Control, Tugless, Flattering, Bra, Cute, Sporty, Sophisticated, Covered, Muffin-Tops-Be-Gone, All-over Support.

Dude ... The men's trunks cost (on sale) between $25 and $27. The women's CONTROLLING suits cost  (also, on sale) at least twice that much.

Now, don't get me wrong. I own a Land's End suit. With a skirt. It's probably a very controlling skirt, too. I no longer want to go to the pool in something akin to my undies.

But this whole topic just has me thinking, hard ...

And wanting to throw on any old swim suit I can find, the less controlling the better, and go to the pool and laugh and swim and eat a popsicle and just ... I don't know, act like a guy?

It sounds really fun.

I have a hunch, however, that most of us will pay the money for a suit that will squeeze us and slim us, control us ... Tame us, really.

God forbid we show up at the pool - or in life - free of constraints.